Traveling on an overnight bus from Cambodia, I arrived in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), former capital of the South Vietnam. After celebrating New Year with some old friends that I’ve meet along my journey, I decided to explore the Mekong Delta. It is the region in southern Vietnam where the Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea, very rich and lush area, covered with rice fields and variety of fruits. A bike ride through the villages and camera was all I needed. Home-staying was the truly unique experience, especially when you free yourself from language barrier.
In Mui ne I had a beautiful barefoot trek up streams of the Fairy Springs; famous for tectonic natural combination of water and sand, which creates a mesmerizing scenic beauty. Outside of town, there are well-known sand dunes – one red, the other white. These dunes are a fascinating regional phenomenon created by the high winds rushing to and from the ocean, providing some great panoramic views.
Dalat is the town dotted with elegant French-colonial buildings, rather than socialist architecture. The weather is spring-like cool instead of tropical hot, and the farms around are thick with strawberries and flowers, not rice. Hang Nga’s Guesthouse (known as Crazy House), is a very unusual piece of architecture, designed by a local architect named Dang Viet Nga, but he was clearly influenced by the Spanish architect Gaudi. In Quy Nhon I enjoyed the local atmosphere, wandering around Pagodas and fresh food markets. Nha Thang is more lively and urban in character, offering beautiful beaches with fine and clean sand and clear ocean water. Just outside of fast developing Da Nang, there are Marble Mountains; a well-known pilgrimage site with peaks, caves, tunnels and temples.
Established as the capital of unified Viet Nam in 1802, Hue was not only the political but also the cultural and religious center under the Nguyen dynasty until 1945. The Perfume River winds its way through Hue, also known as the Imperial City. It is significant for all those who are interested in the history of the nation. Halong bay, translated as Bay of Descending Dragons is the top tourist attraction in Vietnam. Thousands of islands, each topped with thick jungle vegetation, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. Ha noi, the capital of Vietnam, is known for its centuries-old architecture and a rich culture with Southeast Asian, Chinese and French influences. It is a great place to explore on foot, especially the chaotic Old Quarter, where the narrow streets are roughly arranged by trade, selling variety of goods and street food.
February 23, 2016